The Ayanavaram post office on Portuguese Road is nearly 90 years old, and of late, has begun to show its age.
The old building is currently plagued by the accumulation of empty, unusable mail bags that litter its premises.
For over a year now, these bags have collected in heaps, and exposed to the weather all year round, have become breeding grounds for insects and even snakes, customers allege.
“The post office has now become inconvenient and unsafe because of this garbage. I can’t leave my child alone at home, so she used to accompany me here earlier. But she was bitten by a bug once when she was standing near the mail bags and so, I don’t bring her here anymore,” said Janaki Anatharaman, a customer and a resident of Ayanavaram.
The empty mail bags come to the post office periodically from various places and are divided into ‘sound’, ‘repairable’ and ‘condemned’ bags. “The sound bags are re-sent for use to the district bag office; the repairable ones are fixed here and then sent back, while the condemned ones which are unfit for further use are supposed to be disposed of.
The sound and repairable ones are removed from the post office premises but the condemned ones have been here for nearly three years now,” said an official.
Officials say they have already asked Chennai Corporation officials on several occasions to remove the unusable bags but to date, nothing has been done.
This apart, since the entire post office is in bad condition, maintenance work including painting, fixing of tiles and some patch work is being carried out at a cost of Rs. 12 lakh.
Some officials though, say this is not enough.
“Even when there is a light shower, the building begins leaking. Since it is old, ideally, the building should be demolished and reconstructed. But the authorities have decided that just some patch work will do,” an official said.